Profile > Bob Green, 62, still working, wife retired, Bellevue. Nest egg: His salary; 401(k) fund started in his mid-50s and minimal...
Profile: Bob Green, 62, still working, wife retired, Bellevue. Nest egg: His salary; 401(k) fund started in his mid-50s and minimal pension; their Social Security.
One way to maximize your retirement nest egg is to delay when you start spending it. For Bob Green, 62, that means he may work through his 60s though his wife already is retired.
Green, an engineering project manager in Bellevue, expects just a “little bit” of pension because he’s had lots of different jobs, and didn’t start saving for retirement in earnest until his mid-50s.
“It was relatively late in my career that I took advantage of” a 401(k) plan at work, he said. “It was just stupid [to delay]. I had a kid in college and wasn’t looking that far ahead.” Now he wonders if he’ll be able to quit before his 70th birthday.
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He estimates that he could draw up to $700 per month from his 401(k) if he starts withdrawals in five years or so, to combine with his and his wife’s Social Security checks.
Still, there are compelling reasons not to quit, and with demand high in his technical field he expects he can work indefinitely: “I could save more money, claim more Social Security later and be less out-of-pocket for medical expenses. … More and more people think they’ll work until 70.”
The Dallas native hopes to retire to his lower-cost hometown. He’d consider moving now but wonders how employable he is in his 60s.
Take-away tip: Late savers must make up time but this isn’t the time to plunge into high-risk stocks or junk bonds, notes Robert Bingham, a wealth-management partner with Bingham Osborn & Scarborough in San Francisco. Better option: New catch-up provisions for most workers 50 and older to save more pretax dollars in 401(k) and IRAs, if your employer offers them.